‘Wonderful’ My Cymru My Shirt mural replaced ahead of Six Nations
The change comes as the WRU is being scrutinised over sexism claims
THE spray cans were set aside and a new mural in Quay Street was finally completed.
The wall of Mexican restaurant La Pantera now showcases portraits of players from each of the Six Nations teams, including Wales’ George North and former Welsh international rugby union captain, Sam Warburton.
The artwork is an advert for watch company and tournament sponsor Breitling. Half of the wall is taken up by a painting of a watch, where it previously had a portrait of a woman of colour.
Some people say that they will miss the previous mural, which despite being an advert for Adidas, was popular with Welsh football fans, among others. The ‘My Cymru, My Shirt’ artwork was commissioned by Adidas during Wales’ European Championship campaign and painted by local graffiti artist Rmer One.
The old design was created by artists Yusuf Ismail and Shawqi Hasson from Cardiff’s creative collective Unify. The group collected photos of inspirational people of colour wearing Wales football shirts to champion diversity in the game.
In a statement, Unify said that the response to the mural had been “beyond their wildest expectations” and had helped to create “a unified sense of belonging” in Welsh sport.
The artists are pleased that the mural lasted for 18 months on the Quay Street Wall. Yet many people feel that the timing of the change is poor, with the Welsh Rugby Union under intense scrutiny amid allegations of misogyny and racism.
It was recently revealed that the former head of Welsh women’s rugby had considered suicide because of a “toxic culture” of sexism at the WRU. Chief Executive Steve Phillips resigned over the controversy on Sunday and plans have been announced to modernise the 12-person board to include at least five women. Only one female member currently sits on the board.
The WRU did not commission the new mural yet the replacement of a diversity campaign with portraits of six male players is bad timing beyond their control.
The mural has been changed on the eve of Wales’ first Six Nations game against Ireland, which will bring thousands of visitors to the city.
Previous adverts on the site have included Netflix launches and celebrations of NHS heroes during the Covid pandemic.